This is huge, huge news. According to a report from Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio citing multiple league sources, Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis tore his Achilles while working out away from the team in Atlanta and is done for the year.
Mathis is suspended for the first four games of the 2014 season for violating the league's PED policy, and the absence of Mathis was clearly noticed last night as the Colts took on the Broncos, as the team struggled mightily to get a pass rush (and really never did). The silver lining in it all was the knowledge that Mathis, the league's reigning sack champion, would be returning after four games. Now, he's done for the year.
This is absolutely crushing for the Colts. It's seriously hard to overstate just how huge this is. It's very, very hard to envision a scenario in which the Colts make the Super Bowl without their star pass rusher. Mathis is arguably the team's second best player and easily their best defensive player.
The Colts can put Mathis on the non-football injury list (withholding his pay for this year), but it remains to be seen what they'll do. And really, that's just a technicality - the main thing is that the Colts will be without Robert Mathis for the rest of the season due to a torn Achilles as Mathis worked out in Atlanta last week.
I have confirmed #colts Robt Mathis tire Achilles last wk. out for season.— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) September 8, 2014
Absolutely crushing news for the Colts. This story will be updated.
[UPDATE:] Not that you needed another confirmation, but I have confirmed that Mathis tore his Achilles and is done for the year.
[UPDATE 2:] Here's some info from SB Nation's medical expert on what a torn Achilles means:
"A ruptured Achilles refers to a complete tear through the tendon. Treatment can be conservative (casting, rest and rehabilitation) or surgical. Some studies show the long-term outcome is similar to surgery with regard to strength and function. However, compared with conservative management, surgery has a lower incidence of re-rupture than nonsurgical treatment and allows a return to pre-injury activities sooner and at a higher level of functioning with less shrinkage of muscle, making it the option of choice for competitive athletes.
"Surgical repair of a ruptured Achilles tendon requires physically suturing the ends of the tendon back together. Typically, as the rupture site heals, a small lump remains from the scarring, but this does not impact healing or resumption of physical activity. Full weight bearing commonly begins at about six weeks following surgery with a heel support, with the athlete often back to light activity at eight weeks. A return to full form typically requires six months or more of rehabilitation after the surgery, which cannot take place until swelling resolves."